How I might just get myself killed when I go home

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Heh heh! I admit that the headline is a bit dramatic, but it is actually a thought I have had repeatedly while living here in Trento. Why? Because of how pedestrian friendly it is as a city.

Of course, there are lots of intersections with clearly marked pedestrian crossings, and with lovely pedestrian lights with a button to press before you wait for the light to change. And there are nice wide sidewalks (often shared with a marked bicycle path) that accommodate large numbers of pedestrians.

But by and large many of my ventures across a road take one of two forms: a marked crossing with no light or a road with no crossings at all. When you come to the former, it is enough to step down into the crossing and begin walking, knowing with all certainty that if a car is coming, it will stop. Not might. Will stop. This may not be the same across the rest of Italy, and I have been told that it is not, but here in Trento, drivers do seem to put pedestrians first for sure. Maybe the penalties are high for striking a pedestrian in a crossing, but I have never had a second thought about whether a car would stop when I enter a crossing. This, of course, is a habit that might well get me killed at home in Jamaica. While technically, by law, drivers are supposed to give right of way to a pedestrian in a marked crossing, let’s just say that stepping into a crossing before you are seen the car stop would be a stupid endeavour!

Where it comes to the latter, my habits have been pretty similar to home – look for a break in cars and then go. Of course, given that there are also many pedestrian zones in the city centre (often with cobblestones), walking there often actually means walking in the middle of the road. What cars there are on these roads take great car to drive slowly and watch for pedestrians. So you can pretty much walk without even looking around. Safe to say, there is nowhere at home in Kingston that you can truly walk that freely across or in a road, even though many pedestrians seems to feel they have that right, lol!

Walking everywhere in Trento has been an interesting experience. I am unlikely to walk much at home since I have my car and the city is not really designed for pedestrians. But I will have to remind myself even on short walks that Kingston is no Trento – look both ways and wait for cars to stop first before crossing.